Wednesday, November 9, 2011

TSA's 10-year anniversary

Thanks to HuffPo for alerting me to this monumental and terrible anniversary. It's a reminder that we must get rid of this monstrosity before people get used to it and can't imagine a world without the TSA.

Most of the rest of Elliott's article is underwhelming, though. He says, "I'm no fan of the TSA's current practices," but yet he "support[s] the idea of professional airport screeners," by which he means he supports a government airport security force. He is "optimistic" that things will improve in the next 10 years, especially if they would only listen to his great ideas. By the way, all of his ideas ignore the very nature of government bureaucracy. It is extremely unlikely (because it goes against all built-in incentives) that the TSA will:
  • Deploy some common sense.
  • Know [it's] place. ("they will never be anything more than security guards with no law enforcement authority")
  • Beware of mission creep.
  • No more secrets.
  • Obey the law.
  • Lose weight now.
 And, because of that, the other ideas are unlikely to happen, too (since they require some combination of the above).

Elliott should not support the idea of professional screeners. It won't work (in terms of the public's civil liberties) no matter how optimistic he is.